Individualized Care


President Obama’s new initiative is called “precision medicine” and it is being made to feel like it is individualized care.  But is it?

Obama is asking for $215 million “for what he calls a precision medicine initiative that moves away from one-size-fits-all treatments” in an effort to obtain what the AP characterizes as an “ambitious goal” of scientists “assembl[ing] databases of about a million volunteers to study their genetics – and other factors such as their environments and the microbes that live in their bodies – to learn how to individualize care.”

I am very intrigued about microbes.  I recently heard a nice podcast on the Tim Ferris show about the microbiome.  Cool stuff. That being said, let’s not mix up industrialized medicine with personal or authentic medicine.   This seems to be another attempt to break down populations and people into numbers or microbes, or genes, etc.  Obama claims this moves away from the one-size-fits-all approach but isn’t it really the same thing?   Once again we are treating people according to only their lab sheets and not really as individuals.  This may make it easier for non-doctors to treat patients but that is not what medicine should be about.

If I am missing something about this then please set me straight.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Individualized Care

  1. gene
    February 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Start with a basic education in microbiology.

    • Doug Farrago
      February 9, 2015 at 11:49 am

      What does that mean?

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